Healthcare Professional Development

What You Need to be a Stellar Nurse

What You Need to be a Stellar Nurse
Written by Sheryl Posnick

Nurses have the privilege direct hand in healing people every day, which makes the job extremely rewarding… and very high-pressure. Do you have what it takes to excel? Here are some traits every good nurse should posses.

Mental stamina

As a nurse, not only do you need the physical energy to be on your feet all shift and every shift, but you also must develop the skills to remain calm and cool in even the most dire of medical emergencies–every day. You are around high-pressure situations and it’s often up to you to maintain order.


Nurses deal with patients (and their families) who are confused and scared. Sometimes, they’re unfortunately in a lot of pain, as well. While every patient in front of you is one in possibly hundreds you’ll see that week, you need the empathy to understand your patients’ physical and mental struggles and do your best to alleviate them. Nurses must be a calm, cool, and confident presence in the face of many different ailments.

Attention to detail

In nursing, vigilance is not only important, it literally sometimes a matter of saving lives! With doctors and patients both relaying tons of facts and figures, nurses must expert listeners and direction followers, down to the letter, many times a day.

Communication skills

Nurses are often called upon to explain complicated medical matters to patients in language they can comprehend–you need to be clear and direct, and patient enough to answer even the most minute of questions.

The more you practice nursing and the more situations you encounter, more you will continue to develop these important traits.

About the author

Sheryl Posnick

Sheryl Posnick is an editor and writer living in Brooklyn, NY. She is the founder and president of Red Letter Content, an editorial company with a focus on educational, test preparation, and career readiness materials.